Finishing second in the group behind China, Sri Lanka has gained access to the semi-final of the Asia Sevens Series Colombo leg and is expected to meet regular rivals Hong Kong tomorrow in the play-off.
Starting their competition strong, the Tuskers were able to go past Chinese Taipei 26-7 after the slow start they had. They later continued to gather momentum and were able to pile a 66-00 win against the Singaporean team but failed to get top honour as they went down fighting against the Chinese team.
China got themselves the top spot in the group B defeating Sri Lanka 24-14. With Hong Kong and South Korea emerging in group A, China will face the runners-up from the other group, South Korea while hosts Sri Lanka will face the difficult task of Hong Kong.
Sri Lanka and Hong Kong have themselves some history over the past two legs with both teams ending up in the past two cup finals. Sri Lanka has faced Hong Kong on three occasions in the last two legs and all three of them have not ended in the Lankans favour. The only consolation Sri Lanka might have is Hong Kong’s loss to Malaysia.
Earlier in the day, Hong Kong lost their group stage game against Malaysia 14-19 but that did not prevent them from topping their respective group.
Malaysia, unfortunately, couldn’t live up to the expectations and will have to settle for the single win against Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Women had the privilege of only winning the encounter against Singapore and could not get their ticket to the semifinals. Sri Lanka lost out to Hong Kong Women 12-17 and China 27-00 but ended up winning the Singapore match 15-5.
Sri Lanka will face Hong Kong in the first semifinal that will be played at 3.05 p.m. tomorrow.
China breaks Sri Lanka’s unbeaten streak
Sri Lanka’s hopes of finishing on top in front of their home crowds diminished as they went down to a fierce Chinese team that went on to win the final group stage game 24-7.
Coming into the game after a comfortable 66-00 win against Singapore, the Sri Lankans were set back by a strong Chinese attacking game as Wenru Feng drew first blood in the second minute.
With a try up, China continued their attacking streak and Changshun Shan side-stepped through three Sri Lankan players to score under the posts.
Sri Lanka’s defence proved to be their primary weakness but the hopes for the hosts were kept alive with Richard Dharmapala’s under-the-post try in the first half as Sri Lanka went into lemons with a 5 point deficit (12-7).
China proved to be the better performer exploiting the Tusker’s weakness as Wenru Fend took China up by another try. With the conversion sailing through, Sri Lanka needed to strike back to recover from the 19-7 margin.
Defying the Lankan hopes was Changsun Shan who scored the decisive try and sealed the game for China. A last minute charge by Richard Dharmapala did not suffice for his team to end up on the winning side.
The full-time score read 24-14 in favour of Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan Tuskers annihilated the helpless Singapore team as they breezed to a staggering 66-00 victory scoring a total of 10 tries in their group stage encounter.
It was Sri Lanka from the kick off whistle as the Lankans exploited their opponents utilizing their speed and strength as the Lankan sevens sensation Srinath Sooriyabandara crossed over for a master-class try. Setting the tone for the match, skipper Danushka Ranjan secured the loose ball to score the second that was followed up by Tarinda Ratwatte who touched down for the third off a Dulaj Perera chip.
Richard Dharmapala followed up his team mates with an individual try and Sri Lanka closed in at 35 points at lemons with a finishing try off Danushka Ranjan.
Singapore couldn’t do any better in the second half as Sri Lanka continued their dominancy in the next seven minutes. Danushka Ranjan completed his hat trick in very first minute of the restart and two tries from Tarinda Ratwatte later on earned him his hat-trick of tries. The Pereras; Kavindu and Hirantha did the final honours for Sri Lanka with a try each as Sri Lanka reached 66-0 at full time.
With ten tries scored by the hosts, Dulaj Perera had the privilege of converting 8 out of the 10.
Sri Lanka will face China later in the day that will decide who will top the respective group. The match will be played at 7.04 p.m. local time
Sri Lanka recovered well in time after their unimpressive start in their opening fixture of the Asia Sevens Series Colombo leg as the hosts registered a 26-7 victory against Chinese Taipei.
Playing in home conditions, the Tuskers could not gain too much momentum in the first few phases of play as Chinese Taipei controlled possession and finally ended up drawing first blood with a good set piece play as Cheng-Chih Ling crossed over on the corner. The visitors had a 7-0 early lead with the conversion sailing through.
Sri Lanka however replied strongly in the very next restart as Richard Dharmapala broke through the middle to score under the posts. Sooriyabandara’s conversion put the Lankans back on level just before half time.
Sri Lanka got back momentum later in the second half, as three tries came reeling off the efforts of Richard Dharmapala and Kanchana Ramanayake. Ramanayake coming in during the second half crossed over on two occasions.
Sri Lanka won the first match 26-7 and will face Singapore at 4.08 p.m. (SL Time)
China Women bulldoze the Sri Lankan Women
China cruised to a comfortable 27-0 victory against the Sri Lankan lady Tuskers in their second group stage game. The Sri Lankans were not spared a single opportunity as the Chinese dominated the entire 14 minutes of play.
China scored off five tries and was able to convert one out of the five to finish the game at 27 points. With that loss, Sri Lanka’s chances to move forward to a possible semifinal in Colombo will not be a possibility.
Sri Lanka will play Singapore in their final match for the day that will be at 5.58 p.m. local time.
Sri Lanka Women secure first win
Two crucial tries from Dulani Pallikondage saw the Sri Lankan women winning their final group stage match against Singapore with scores reading 10-15.
Sri Lanka who was defeated in the two earlier instances were in desperate need of a win to finish their day but spoiling their motives in the first few minutes of play was Singapore who touched down to draw first blood.
Fighting back, the experienced Anusha Attanayake pushed her limits to score a try that came off her individual efforts. Following her success, Dulani Pallkondage ran from one end of the ground covering almost 100 meters to score the second try. She followed up by another in the dying stages of the second half to seal the game for her team.
Full time score : 15-5 in favor of Sri Lanka
The final leg of the Asia Sevens series is underway at the Racecourse International Stadium in Colombo. Sri Lanka Tuskers aiming for their first cup title after becoming runners-up in both the previous legs.
Sri Lanka Women played their first game this morning. An excellent 80m run by the former captain Thanuja Weerakkodi in the third minute of the game which was converted by Ayesha Kaluarachchi to lead 07 – 00. Hong Kong hit back with a try just before half time to level the score 07 all.
Sandika Hemakumari getting injured and Ayesha Kaluarachchi being sin-bin resulted in favour of Hong Kong as they hit back with two quick tries.
Just before the full time Dulani Pallikondage made a superb run to affect the final try but it was too little too late for the Lankan ladies
FT : Sri Lanka 12 – 17 Hong Kong
Fixtures/Results – Day 1 – Updated Live
|#||Time||Gender||Team 1||Score 1||Score 2||Team 2|
|12.06||Women||Hong Kong||17||12||Sri Lanka|
|13.12||Men||Sri Lanka||26||07||Chinese Taipei|
|18.42||Men||Hong Kong||26||15||South Korea|